Mahakumbha Mela 2013


This year our organizations managed to get a small camp close to the Sangam in Allahabad, place where Mahakumbha Mela 2013 is taking place. Mela means ‘feast or fair’, whereas Kumbha means ‘pot or jug’.

Kumbha Mela takes place every year but every twelve years it assumes huge proportions attracting about ten millions devotees and visitors from every part of India and from everywhere in the world.


The myth connected with the sacredness of this place is told in the Mahabharata, in the Bhagavata Purana and in the Vishnu Purana. During the fight between gods and demons for possessing the jug of the nectar of immortality (Amrita), some ambrosia drops fell in four places: Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik, where Kumbha Melas take place. Among them the Kumbha of Allahabad is the most important. The place where the Ganges and the Yamuna meets (sangam) is known as Prayag. Bathing in this place in this very period is considered to be very meritorious by Indian people.



The Kumbha isn’t just a holy event but above all an opportunity to meet many people and for exchange. All the different religious schools or factions, organizations, associations, orthodox or not, meet and discuss, exchanging their ideas and turning them into new experiences. This event is the greatest meeting of human beings in the world.


This year the camp was more than one thousand hectares in area, a huge tent city divided into sectors that extended for miles as far as the eye can see. A great number of police officers have been deployed for the safety of visitors. Numbers reported by the newspapers about the works done for Maha Kumbha are striking. On February 10th, one of the most important days, Government’s official web site estimated an attendance of at least 30 million people.

I haven’t been back to Kumbha Mela since 1989. When Guru Ratna and I went for the first time we were with Baba Aghoreshwar, in 1980. On that occasion Baba Aghoreshwar gave the Diksha to Guru Ratna. I wondered how it would have been to come back after such a longtime and this time with our own camp. We prepared food, pots and pans, tools, small tables but also wood from Manikarnika shmashan and loaded everything on a tractor cart. Ram Kripalu started driving, seven/eight daredevils sat on the top of the cart and all together cheerfully left for Allahabad, 130 km far from Varanasi. Then five of us left by car. The car was full of bags. Our camp was composed of four big tents, one kitchen area and another one for toilets.



The word Aghori usually causes suspiscion and fear, and sometimes disgust and repugnance but when it is followed by the word Kinarami the first distrust turns into great respect and admiration. Baba Kina Ramji and the Aghoris coming from him are highly thought of and enjoy a good reputation among the northern schools, and his painting at the entrance of our camp attracted onlookers and seekers. Soon our neighbors, Yogananda Society, Ramakrishna Mission and Shankaracharya Math, became our friends, captivated by the charm and spiritual achievements attributed to Kinarami Aghoris.


Among the quirkiest characters of Kumbha Mela there are of course Naga Babas, once the armed wing of Indian asceticism. Naked and covered with ashes, they are respected and feared by the people. Sometimes they behave aggressively and violently. They belong to various factions of the kaleidoscopic Hindu universe, and sometimes in the past they fought against Muslim armies to protect Indian people.


During this period the activities of the centre haven’t stopped and on Saturday January 19th Anil Baba and the doctors did a medical camp in Bihar. They visited almost three hundred people, elderly persons, women, and children. The ones who needed an operation will join our hospital where they will be monitored during postoperative phase.

As usual on Saturday January 26th, Republic Day, the school Shri Aghoreshwar Gurukul celebrated with the friends of Rotary Club of Varanasi that handed out school material and shoes to the children. Then all the classes marched through the nearby villages, singing slogan and chants, and waving small flags. The children really enjoyed it; then at midday Prashad was served to all the people present.


I was at Kumbha Mela on January 14th, Makar Sankranti, and on January 27th, Paush Purnima. Guru Ratna arrived on February 10th, Muni Amavasya, and stayed also on February 15th, Vasant Panchami, and will come back on February 25th, Maghi Purnima, with the oldest guys of the school. Doctors, members of the Indian association and many friends attended the event joyfully.

Guru Ratna went to Kumbha Mela with the teachers of the school, the women of our small community but also important guests come for the feast. Some children have asked if they could come, so they have followed the oldest guys to Allahabad. Many people joined the group and the camp was packed; we had to fix more than sixty persons in our camp and inside some extra tents in another sector.


Everyone attended Mahakumbha with great joy and satisfaction, while our neighbors invited us again in the same sector for the next Kumbhas. It was a great success for our associations, Pujya Maa Shri Sarveshwari Seva Sangh and Shri Sarveshwari Samooh Italia. The beginning of a new tradition we will keep in the future.

To the next year!